For the next part of my series on Building GraphQL Servers which focuses on Mutations, Inputs, and implementing Apollo; I am building a record album collection app which I eventually intend to make part of my profile site. Part of this app will contain the the ability to upload an album cover which gets into the mutli-part forms that everyone loves work with.

But that is not the focus of this topic. The issue to be resolved here is what to display when an album does not yet have a cover image to be shown. The obvious answer would be to put a default image, but I wanted to take this opportunity to take things a step further and dynamically build an image with the Albums Title in JavaScript on the front end.

import { defaultImage } from "@christophervachon/image-generator";

export default ImageNode = () => (<img src={ defaultImage("Test String") } alt="Test String" />);
Generated Image
I created a module and uploaded it to my Registry, GitHub, and Documented it Here.

So what's going on here?

One of the really cool things that JavaScript Canvas can do for us is to export a dataURL of its content. We can then load value into the source property of an html image tag so that a browser can display.

const canvas = document.createElement("canvas");
const context = canvas.getContext("2d");

canvas.height = 200;
canvas.width = 200;

context.fillStyle = "#0F0";
context.fillRect(0, 0, canvas.width, canvas.height);

const imageSource = canvas.toDataURL();

console.log(imageSource);

Outputs

data:image/png;base64,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

which we can then load on the page in an image tag like this

<img src="data:image/png;base64,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" alt="Generated Image" width="200" height="200" />
Generated Image

So we have now generated a Green Image with a width and height of 200 pixels.

The module I created simply expands upon this concept of drawing content onto a canvas a generating a dataurl of that content. If you haven't already, checkout it out for generating images with centered text. https://codevachon.github.io/image-generator/

Try it out